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Archive for the ‘Equal rights’ Category

Big Week!

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This is where I was when President Obama was inaugurated.  I watched in awe with hundreds of fellow classmates as our country made history.  I feel as if it’s a new day now.  I feel as if the weight of the world has been taken off my shoulders as I watched Former President George W. Bush along with Laura Bush get on that helipoter to take them away from Washington.

Watching the news yesterday has reassured me that Obama is going to do what’s right for this country.  He’s already signed to have Guantanamo closed, he’s going to repeal the Global Gag Rule, and doing so with sensitively.  He’s going to do right by our country, and I’m proud for the first time in a long time of what America is and what it stands for.  I lost my faith in my country during the past 8 years, especially 8 years ago when Bush stole the election.  But you get past it and move on and hope the country will correct the mistakes of the past, and it has now.

Yesterday also marked the day that 36 years ago Roe v. Wade was passed by the Supreme Court.  This is a momentous day, because the ruling states that a woman has a right to bodily privacy, to make whatever decisions she feels is right for her to make, not her father, not her husband, not the government.  I feel people forget this.  I feel that certain groups in our society feel that women are incapable of making educated decisions regarding their body and that they, the government, or someone else who is not a woman knows what’s best for them.  The truth is that nobody knows what’s best for someone except that person.

Because of this anniversary, there was a March in front of the Supreme Court in D.C., and man tried to ram his SUV into an abortion clinic in St. Paul.  What I find most interesting though is the fact that most of the people who are against abortions and whom are violent toward abortion clinics and patients are men.  It’s patriarchy doing it’s thing.  It reminds me a lot of the movie I saw about the Suffragettes, Iron Jawed Angels on HBO and all the men who were against them getting their voting privileges. Here’s a photo clip of the violence I’m talking about that was portrayed in the movie.

I’m completely convinced that this violence has everything to do with loss of power and control, just like it did back then, 100 years ago.  With every little freedom a woman is given towards the right to form her own decisions regarding her life, her body, and her well-being, certain men simply freak out, and I don’t seem to understand this.  I’ve always been priviledged to have my independence, and I was raised to speak my mind and take care of myself, because nobody was going to do that for me, so here I am, taking care of myself, forming my own opinions, and speaking my mind.

Another momentous thing happened in D.C. yesterday: The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed the Senate!  Here’s what Planned Parenthood had to say about it:

Tonight the Senate passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by a bipartisan vote of 61 to 36, vindicating Lilly Ledbetter’s long search for redress after 19 years of pay discrimination.

“This is an important first step in our efforts to undo years of backsliding on the right to be paid a fair and equitable wage,” said National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy. “The Ledbetter bill will allow redress for workers with the energy and willpower to seek redress in the courts, but we have a long way to go before we have fair pay for women, and laws with real teeth.”

While it is too late for her to receive the compensation she deserved from Goodyear and was denied by the Supreme Court, Lilly’s determined quest for equal rights for women in the workplace led to today’s Senate passage of the legislation introduced in her name. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation next week after an expected concurrence from the House.

The Ledbetter Act, which was blocked in the Republican-led Senate last year, will essentially reverse the 2007 Supreme Court decision that required workers to file charges on a pay discrimination claim within six months after receiving their first discriminatory paycheck. The Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber, which reversed the jury’s compensation award to Ledbetter, essentially gave employers the go-ahead to discriminate in pay, as long as they weren’t caught in the first six months after the onset of their illegal actions.

Earlier this month the House passed the Ledbetter Act with a companion bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would close loopholes that allow employers to pay men and women discriminatorily and provides consequences for that discrimination. The Senate today acted only on the Ledbetter Act, so work on passage of the companion bill begins tomorrow.

But tonight NOW salutes Lilly Ledbetter and promises to continue working for passage of fair pay legislation with real teeth, so that her long journey through the courts and the halls of Congress will not have been in vain, and all workers will be able enjoy a fair, safe and equitable workplace where they can do their jobs and support their families.

Little by litte we are working our way to equality.  Little by little women are being freed from the oppressions they face that hold them back from achieving the great things we all know they’re capable of.

I also just got word that Obama overturned the Global Gag Rule this morning via Twitter (thanks Veronica!).  More on that as the info comes in.

It’s been a big week indeed!


Written by Lissette

January 22, 2009 at 10:55 am

Happy Anniversary Amendment 19!

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So how did I celebrate this historic day?  I voted!  I voted in the Florida primaries, and I vote for all the causes I believe in.  I make sure to use my right to vote because women fought long and hard to make sure I was given this right, and I will not stand idly by and allow someone else speak for me when they might speak wrongly, because only I know my true intentions, and only I know my true beliefs.  No one, even those who claim to know me the best can truly say that they know the true me, nor could they claim they know what I see for my future.  Therefore, I exercise my right to vote.

How else did I celebrate?  I exercised my right to an education.  I spend all day in class and becoming an educated woman, which is something my ancestors were not allowed.  My mother was too busy working trying to support me and did not have time for an education, especially since my father was going to school.  My grandmother uprooted her family from Cuba and brought them here to this country because of the promise of freedom and the hope for the future that defines America.  She came from an extremely patriarchal country, with a patriarchal husband who fully believed that a woman’s place was in the home raising the children and taking care of him.  I love my grandfather very much, but we differed severely in these views, and my grandmother simply conformed to her husbands demands.

Finally, I celebrated by watching the speeches given by the many women Senators during the democratic national convention and I watched as many of my dreams for my future and my childrens future were spoken about and idealized on the stage in Colorado.  I’m jealous of all the women who were able to attend, particularly my friend Stephanie who will one day help change the world, whether she knows it or not.  She has had a great leader in her grandmother Evelyn who I have admittedly butt heads with, but for all the wrong reasons and have come to truly idealize as a woman who is not afriad to speak her mind and speak the truth, and all with a southern charm I wish would rub off onto me.

So to Amendment 19 I say Happy Anniversary and I would like to thank all the women who worked so incredibly hard to make sure that I have this right, and the women, like myself, who are continually fighting to make sure that our daughters and grandaughters have a better life.  Thank you.

Written by Lissette

August 26, 2008 at 11:26 pm

Posted in Equal rights, Politics

Time is not on my side

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I have been so busy and swamped with school work that I haven’t really had much time for anything else, not even being sick like I have been for the past week.

I’m currently reading the Malleus Maleficarium (aka The Witch’s Hammer) for class, and I’m truly taken aback at how these two Dominican monks really didn’t know nor understand women. They related everything that women did to the devil and every bodily function of desire or what not was the work of the devil, going as far back as to creation stories. It’s pretty sad. More on it soon as I read further into it.

I’ve also been reading this book, “Pillars of the Earth” for the same class and have been unable to put it down! It’s really a great read. It’s historically and religiously accurate, which is wonderful because I can really get into it, I can really visualize what’s going on, and it’s just an incredibly awesome read. It also shows women’s rise to power and how women were treated during Medeivel Europe.

It’s been pretty hectic lately with school, I have a test today and I’m tryin to keep up, so I haven’t really had much time to ponder things outside of my schoolwork, except for what I’m made to read for classes, so I’m sorry the content has been lacking lately. I do want to write more on “Pillars…” and the Malleus Malleficarium because they’re both really important, in my opinion, especially the Malleus because of the women that suffered because of this work. Actually, I just want to say one thing: it seems that we really haven’t learned our lesson all that much since then. Women are still being persecuted by men simply because men don’t understand women and don’t even want to try to understand them and are still looking for ways to control them, which is what this work was all about.

More on all this soon…

Written by Lissette

July 8, 2008 at 10:34 am

Pro Golfers endorsed by Wilhelmina

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I really don’t know how I feel about this article.  It’s got me stumped.  Let me explain what’s going on.  7 female pro golfers have been approached by Wilhelmina Artist Management and they are sprucing them up, sexing them up, and taking shot of them to promote them and get them endorsements.  

When Dieter Esch began looking at the players on the LPGA Tour, he quickly figured out that something was missing. He sensed they always appeared out of place . . . swinging nine-irons, hitting out of bunkers, putting cross-handed on the green.

So Esch decided it would be a great idea to put the golfers in something different, something the casual public does not see them in, at least up to now

Like bikinis. Like lingerie. Like evening gowns. 

“This was perfect, to show the world there are sexy, athletic women who can play,” said Esch, who is using his company and his clout to turn seven female pro players into model citizens. 

I have such a problem with this because why do women need to prove that they’re sexy and can play?  I don’t see the same thing happening for men.  It’s as if they need to show their sexiness and their femininity in order to be recognized for the players that they are.  This sounds a lot to me like what’s happening with the WNBA and how the women are being sent to charm school.  I also wanted to mention that we don’t see male athletes in their tighty whities to promote themselves.  Granted Michael Jordon has the Hanes endorsements but have you ever seen an ad of him in underware or half naked?  Have you ever seen him wearing less clothing than what he would wear on the court?  Why do women have to expose themselves in bikinis and lingerie, which is NOT something they should be seen in public in period, not like the article suggests.  

The part that I am happy about is that they will be promoting them and trying to get them better endorsements.

The agency will seek sponsorship and endorsement deals for the women as a group and as individuals.

Wilhelmina has launched a campaign to get them work, and, well, exposure.

Clients interested in one of the group or all of them may make up their mind as they thumb through a bound booklet of color photographs of the players, posing in bikinis, summer dresses, and more slinky dresses.

If it’s not just a good read, Esch says he thinks it’s certainly worth at least a look, or several.

There is a basic need being met here, he said.

“There was simply not enough pizazz on the LPGA Tour,” he said. “The players had no representation to speak of, no advertisements to speak of. It’s a crime, so Wilhelmina is taking it upon itself to change that.”

Endorsement income for female golfers is far from great, especially when compared to their male counterparts, although there are exceptions. Michelle Wie’s estimated $12 million is the highest among LPGA Tour players, according to Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list, while No. 1-ranked Lorena Ochoa earns an estimated $6 million from her endorsements.

Those totals pale in comparison to the estimated $90 million to $105 million that Tiger Woods annually brings in from his endorsement deals.

It seems like a double edged sword.  On the one hand they’re trying to promote these women and get them the same amount of money in endorsements that their male counterparts get, but on the other hand they’re basically forced to become models and parade around in bikinis and slinky dresses in order to get these endorsements.  I don’t think that’s right.  I think they should be endorsed on their merits as professional athletes, not on how they look in bikinis and lingerie.

Written by Lissette

June 27, 2008 at 11:19 am

Rights for All: Married or Not

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Susie Bright had a great write-up that starts in on the gay marriages in California and then evolves into this wonderful article that states the reasons why people want to get married in the first place.  Below are some of my favorite portions of the article.

For some people, a marriage proposal, more than anything else, means, ‘I Love You, Above All Others, You are My Destiny.” What they want, more than anything, is that emotional dedication. They will find temporary succor in a wedding, but if they’re captive to their own demons, that insecurity will never leave them. [emphasis mine]


How do you make your lover feel secure — and what part is their responsibility? You can never reassure an insatiable lover enough; and conversely, there are spouses who are such liars and cheats that they would put King Solomon on edge with their antics.

Some lovers, who are in a financially unequal relationships, want legal security. They don’t want to be discounted as a SAHM or dedicated muse, if the shit hits the fan.

Then there’s the unexpected illnesses, deaths, suicides, that beg for the protection of lover-positive law. Some of the most brutal cases of injustice I’ve witnessed were instances when one partner lost her beloved suddenly, and the long-estranged “blood family” came swooping in, and took everything away, from snapshots to the family car.[emphasis mine]

For all these reasons, I embrace an evenhanded marital law, the one decent thing a wedding provides.

Justice is direct; it’s rather beautiful to behold — but the romantic bundle that often goes along with people’s hitching papers is another beast entirely. It’s probably worth a few heart-to-hearts to get to the bottom of it.

“What do I want this marriage? What are my worst fears — and most delicate hopes?” If you can’t bare your breast about these things, it’s probably a bad time to get married.

But from the other side of the deathbed, I know that being a fierce advocate for my dear ones, to keep them out of pain, to speak for them when they can’t, to rattle the cage when they are too weak — that’s something I’ll always treasure, and fight to protect. It doesn’t mean “marriage,” per se, it means legal respect for the diversity of our chosen families. You can keep the cake-topper; I’ll take the equality.[emphasis mine]

I want to make a couple of comments to those chosen emphasized statements.  Firstly, I’m one of those that wants to get married.  I’ve been married before and I probably should have learned my lesson from that marriage about all the problems that there are in marriages because I feel that I got married to my first husband for all the wrong reasons.  I feel that he changed a lot after we were married and he wasn’t the same, loving, nurturing man that I knew when he proposed to me.  Maybe it was the fact that I pulled a “Carrie” à la Sex & The City and made this BIG deal about our wedding day when maybe it was really something he may not have wanted but never said anything because he wanted to make me happy.  Maybe it’s because he was still trying to show me all his strong points to keep me but once he started getting more comfortable in our relationship, the real Him came out.  I’m not entirely sure, but I do know that we were both at fault.  I do know we were both equally wrong in the reasons why our marriage failed and I do not want to make those same mistakes again.

The divorce that I went through killed me because I was one of the many children of the 70’s and 80’s that was brought up watching movies like Snow White and Cinderella, so I had this notion that marriage was supposed to be a timeless thing, even though I watched my own parents divorce.  I didn’t want that for myself.  I wanted the fantasy that my grandmother had in meeting the right man at 13 and staying with him until he died at 71.

But is this really a “happy” fantasy?   In watching my grandmother’s marriage, she never worked, my grandfather took care of everything for her, all she had to do was keep the house clean, take care of the kids, do all the domestic work, and was my grandfathers’ secretary for his at-home business.  But was she “happy” with this arrangement?  I don’t think so, but I don’t think she’ll ever say otherwise.  I see a lot of the same concepts from the Feminine Mystique in my grandmother, but for some reason she never conquered these things.  Even when she’s been freed from her chains by the death of my grandfather, she still won’t do for herself and I can’t quite figure out why.  Is it just that she’s become so accustomed to doing things for everyone else for so long that now she just doesn’t know what to do with herself or is it that she’s afraid of what’s out there since she hasn’t really been exposed to the outside world on her own?  I wish I could get the answers to these questions and I wish I could make my grandmother see how wonderful it is to be free and how liberating it is to be able to go wherever you want without having someone constantly down your throat telling you what to do, but I can’t convince her of the positive qualities of the freedom that I have.

So why do I want to get married again and have the possibility of going through the mess of a divorce?  I’m a bleeding romantic.  This is a huge flaw of mine.  I believe in the romanticism of being told “I will love you for the rest of my days” and as much as this scares Susie, I find it terribly romantic. Some of the other reasons I want to get married is pretty much outlined above in the article.  I want to have children and with children I feel I would need a certain amount of security in case something were to happen to my lover for my sake and for the sake of our kids.  As it stands right now, the only way for me to attain this amount of security in the great state of Florida is to be married.  If I could have all this without actually getting married, I probably would, but in truth – as I stated above – I’m a romantic and would love nothing more than to have a man pledge his eternal love to me and I to him.

What I understand from this article is that should you chose to get married, that’s great, but that everyone – whether they’re married or not – should have the same security within their relationship and should be afforded the same rights as those who are married when they have made the decision to be domestic partners, even if they don’t want to go through the entire marriage process.



Written by Lissette

June 19, 2008 at 10:55 am